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A Song to Sing

To Sabbath School teachers: This story is for Sabbath, June 1.

By Andrew McChesney


iktor was born with cerebral palsy in Belarus. His brain had not developed normally during pregnancy, and the congenital disorder would require long-term treatment, including physical therapy, medicine, and possibly surgery. The treatments might help, but doctors said his condition was incurable.

He also suffered from epileptic attacks.

The little boy received the diagnosis of “Invalid, First Group.” It was the most severe form of disability recognized by the country.

Viktor faced a grim future that seemed to grow bleaker when his mother abandoned him. He was sent to live at an orphanage.

Elsewhere in Belarus, a Seventh-day Adventist mother woke up one night to a baby’s cry in the hospital. She heard the cry, silence, and then the cry again. The cry tugged at her heartstrings. She got up to search for the baby. A nurse showed her little Daniil in the children’s ward and said he had been abandoned by his mother.

The mother felt compassion for the baby and called her husband in the morning.

“There’s a baby here,” she said. “Come and see him.”

He went to see him. The couple went to see the boy a second time. Then they started thinking about adopting him.

Father and Mother already had five daughters and one-year-old Daniil became their first son.

Before long, they started talking about adopting a second child. They learned that Daniil had a 5-year-old brother with cerebral palsy. They brought Viktor home from the orphanage and adopted him.

Viktor heard about God for the first time from his new family. He learned to read the Bible and pray. He went to church with his family every Sabbath.

As he grew older, he realized that he was a miracle from God. It was a miracle that he had a family and was even alive. He began to seek to fulfill God’s will in his life.

As the years passed, Viktor grew taller and stronger. But he still had the medical diagnosis of “Invalid, Group One.”

When he finished eighth grade, he didn’t have many options for continuing his education. The doctor gave him two options: He could learn to repair shoes or sell fruits and vegetables. His medical diagnosis prevented him from engaging in heavy labor and many other activities.

Viktor didn’t want to repair shoes or sell fresh produce. He prayed for God to intervene.

A short time later, God did in a most unexpected way. Doctors suddenly declared that he no longer had the diagnosis of “Invalid, Group One.” In fact, doctors said he was no longer disabled. He was tall, strong, and no longer had epileptic attacks. It was a miracle!

Father suggested that Viktor consider a career in music. He loved singing, and he often sang special music in church.

To Viktor’s joy, he was accepted into a music school. Before long, he was not only singing, but also learning how to compose music, write lyrics, and play the piano. Before long, he organized a concert of his own music.

Today, Viktor isn’t sure what will happen once he graduates from music school. But he would like to continue his education at the music school at Zaoksky Adventist University in Russia. In any case, he is not worried. He is sure that God has a plan. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).

“What God has planned for me is a mystery, but I know that He will work out everything for the best,” he said.

Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help open a center of influence for young people in Minsk, Belarus.